Problem Employees and the Employment Handbook

The only constant in life is change.  In employment, problems require change.

Problem employees can will ruin a business.

Employment issues must be dealt with using clear and concise policies, procedures and guidelines.  There is no better time than today to evaluate your business employment manual/handbook to determine whether your employees are provided with a “road map” of their work environment and your expectations of their time at work.

Employment policies and guidelines provide business owners’ with support for the employment actions they may take.
Employment lawyers create employee manuals / handbooks that are specific to your individual practice needs.   There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Your manual may cover as many or as few issues as you choose, but should always include the following key provisions:

Equal opportunity statement – This states that race, creed, color, religi0n, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or covered veteran status will not affect employment decisions in any way.

Definition of the work schedule – This indicates that all employees are to be at their assigned work areas performing their assigned tasks at a certain time and in a certain manner.

Compensation & Benefits – This will classify an employee as exempt or non-exempt; details when the employee can expect to be paid, how wage increases are handled and whether they are eligible for overtime; and what type of benefits your business provides (health, dental, vision, 401k, vacation, etc.).

Codes of Conduct – This section clarifies expectations regarding employee dress, use of company equipment, punctuality, use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, as well as policies regarding personal phone calls, Internet usage, and personal visits.

Performance review policy – This section explains exactly how and when employee performance is evaluated, including performance review criteria.  It may also spell out the policy on progressive discipline and unsatisfactory performance, and it may list those infractions that could result in termination of employment.

Time off policies or “Leave” policies – This section explains policies on vacation, parental/maternity leave, illness, military, funeral, personal, jury duty, holidays, personal days, etc.

Documentation is critical and preparation is key.  Unfortunately, most businesses wait until employee behaviors are so problematic that they becoming damaging before a robust employment manual is created.  Proactively assessing your business employment practices will save time, headache and expense.